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“If you’re looking for a worthy successor to the Kronos Quartet as a small string ensemble pushing the envelope of concert music, count this exciting gang of five as one excellent candidate.” — Jon Sobel, Blogcritics Magazine

Comprised of Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violins; Angela Pickett, viola; Laura Metcalf, cello; and Louis Levitt, bass; Sybarite5 is the first string quintet ever selected as a winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition. From the music of Andy Akiho to Dan Visconti, their eclectic repertoire and commanding performance style is turning heads throughout the music world. The quintet’s debut EP Disturb the Silence quickly reached the top ten on the Billboard charts, and their follow-up album Everything in Its Right Place was released at Carnegie Hall. New York City is the base of Sybarite5 activities. All five musicians reside in New York and are active figures in the city’s arts scene in their own right, supporting other artists and initiating collaborative and solo projects.  

Over the past decade, Sybarite5 has become a familiar name among New York’s new music audiences. The group performs regularly at established live music venues including: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 92nd Street Y, Time Warner Center, Tishman Auditorium, Mannes School of Music, the Look & Listen Festival, the Museum of Sex, Core Club, Cutting Room and the Apple Store. The ensemble has also maintained a seven-year residency at the cell in Chelsea where it recently premiered Collective Wisdom by Michael Gilbertson. Committed to new music, Sybarite5 recent performances include three world premieres commissioned by the American Composers Forum at (le) poisson rouge, six world premieres at National Sawdust in Williamsburg, and a concert on Simone Dinnerstein’s Neighborhood Classics series at PS 142 in Brooklyn. Sybarite5 has also appeared on Chamber Music America’s New Music in Bryant Park series, SubCulture, and to a standing room only audience as part of Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert series at the Brooklyn Public Library. Sybarite5 is known for daring concert programming, and creating new music for string quintet is the most important part of how the ensemble keeps repertoire fresh and engaging. They have received numerous accolades for their commissions including awards from: BMI, Chamber Music America, the Look and Listen Festival, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the Alice M. Ditson Fund, the Amphion Foundation, the Sylvia Ann Hewlett Adventuresome Artists Award at the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and recently was awarded a three-year NewMusicUSA Impact Cohort grant award.

2016 marked the 10-year anniversary of Sybarite5’s first concerts together at Aspen Music Festival. To celebrate this important milestone, the ensemble launched four exciting projects: Outliers – Sybarite5’s much anticipated third album will be released in early 2017. The recording project features new works by Andy Akiho, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Mohammed Fairouz, Eric Byers, Jessica Meyer, Dan Visconti, Michi Wiancko, Lev “Ljova”Zhurbin, Kenji Bunch and Shawn Conley. The album is the culmination of a decade of commissions, taking audiences on a journey through some of the extraordinary music added to the string quintet repertoire as a result of the relationships formed between Sybarite5 and the composers they work with. Look Back / Move Forward – Sybarite5 will continue to push the boundaries of chamber music through Look Back / Move Forward, an innovative commissioning project that combines the musical language of six world-class composers into a single work for string quintet. The piece takes a refreshing look at the solo suites of Johann Sebastian Bach, inviting participating composers to pay homage to the Baroque era through their contribution of one movement to a six-part suite. The result is a radical expansion or the cultural and political accessibility and relevance of the Baroque aesthetic. Daniel Bernard Roumain, Mohammed Fairouz, Eric Byers, Michi Wiancko, Lev “Ljova”Zhurbin and Kenji Bunch have each collaborated on the project. American Composer’s Forum World Premieres and Tour -Sybarite5 was recently announced the recipient of the American Composer’s Forum Commissioning Contest Award. As a result, the ensemble has received 457 applications from composers from across the nation to be considered for a commission. The end product of this contest resulted in three newly composed works by Clarice Assad, Steven Snowden, and Brandon Ridenour. These new works were premiered in concert at LPR in New York City on October 22, 2016, and have subsequently entered the Sybarite5 nationwide touring repertoire. Sybarite5 + Hacked Theremins – Always endeavoring to explore new musical terrain, Sybarite5 joins forces with “hacked” theremins inventor, composer, and performer Jakub Ciupinski for a stunning, otherworldly collaboration. Jakub’s “hacks” constitute generations of evolution in the traditional theramin, permitting live interfacing between multiple instruments without electronic interference, sampling, and a host of other effects and techniques now standard vocabulary for new music. This first-ever string quintet + theremins program features some of Sybarite5’s favorite new works alongside Jakub’s original compositions for both solo hacked theremins and the entire ensemble. This innovative collaboration will further Sybarite5’s mission, to redefine the possibilities and potential of the classical tradition.

The music created as part of these exciting projects will be the at the center of Sybarite5’s live concert season. Look Back / Move Forward was premiered at National Sawdust on February 11, 2016 and the Outliers album release is scheduled to take place at the cell in 2017. With concerts reaching 43 states and 3 continents, Sybarite5 has taken audiences by storm, building a dedicated global fan base and changing perceptions of chamber music performance. From the moment their bows hit the strings, these talented and diverse musicians take audiences on an exciting ride that engages the spirit and redefines expectations. Thank you for checking out our profile! For even more information on Sybarite5 and our 2016-2017 season, please visit our web page at www.sybarite5.org.

What IS Sybarite5?

“Their classically honed technique mixed with grit and all out passionate attack transfixes the audience…” That is how The Sarasota Herald Tribune described SYBARITE5. Watch this video to learn more about “What IS Sybarite5?”

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Yann’s Flight composed by Shawn Conley (www.shawnconleymusic.com/)

1/18/2015 @Subculture NYC

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Getting Home (…I must be) 2015 by Jessica Meyer

Getting Home (I must be…) composed by Jessica Meyer (Jessicameyermusic.com)
Performed by Sybarite5 (Sybarite5.org)
World Premiere 1/18/2015 @Subculture NYC

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